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Our dear Joseph died peacefully on March 12, 2018, one month from his 88th birthday. He is lovingly remembered by his wife Lois Kenkel (Reeves); his brother Hon. James Kenkel (Janice Kenkel); his son Hon. Joseph Kenkel (Ann Klug) and granddaughters, Ursula, Heidi, and Anneliese of Toronto; his daughter Eileen Kenkel (Ed Lee) and grandson, Michael of Vancouver; his daughter and daughter-in-law, Lisa Kenkel and Melanie Mahtani of Palo Alto; his step-son Don Wiggins (Suzanne Wiggins) and grandsons Sebastian and Tobias of Germantown MD; his step-son John Wiggins (Kathleen Moriarty) of Bloomery, WV; and by his grand nieces and nephews and extended family across the US, Canada and Israel.
Joseph was predeceased by his older brothers Phillip, John, and William Kenkel, by his only sister Mary Murphy, by his former wife Ellen Glynn Kenkel and by his parents Anthony and Anne Marie Kenkel of Bladensburg.
Dr. Kenkel was a graduate of the Catholic University in Washington, DC and the University of Maryland. He was a professor of American History specializing in tariffs and trade. He taught at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and the University of Ottawa, Canada.
He served in the United States Army, Chemical Corps, and later with the Army Reserve retiring as a Major.
Joseph was active in civic affairs in the town of Bladensburg and a devoted member of St Matthew’s Episcopal Church serving on the vestry and receiving recognition from the Bishop of Washington for his service.
He had a great love of gardening and used his skills in the community transforming an unused town lot into a youth community garden, and also beautifying the church grounds.
In his own garden, he was proud of his many rose bushes and hundreds of daffodils. Indeed, some will remember Joseph as the Daffodil King of Bladensburg. As a tribute to him, one single daffodil braved the cold weather to bloom on the morning of his death.
Even more than his garden, Joseph was proud of his children and grandchildren, of their accomplishments and of the people they had grown to become.
After his diagnosis with cancer, Joseph volunteered for experimental treatment at the Lombardi Cancer Centre at Georgetown University Hospital with Dr. Stephen Liu that advanced research in the use of immunotherapy for small cell lung cancer. Through this program, he was fortunate to have 5 years of good health and was pleased that he was part of a successful study which will have benefit for others.
Many thanks to Dr. Liu, Lombardi Cancer Centre at Georgetown University Hospital, and the team at Manor Care, Silver Spring who provided comfort to him in his final days.
A funeral for family and friends will be held at Saturday March 17th 2018 at St. Matthews’s Episcopal Church, 5901 36th Avenue, Hyattsville MD. A celebration of life for extended family will be held later in the spring.